The LA Kings snapped their lengthy six-game losing streak with a win against the Rangers two nights ago. They needed it in a bad way and the Kings showed some fight, coming back from a 2-0 hole in the 1st period to cruise past the Rangers. It was an ugly stretch for the Kings, a stretch that was one of the worst in quite some time. However, while there was some damage done, the Kings are still in control and didn’t do too much harm. They enter tonight with a record of 25-17-5, so they gave themselves a nice cushion before things went astray. If that’s the worst stretch for them this season, they should be just fine down the road. I tend to think it was a blip on the map for the Kings, and they should be able to revert back to winning hockey. Like when they won their Stanley Cup in 2014, there wasn’t much confidence in them during the regular season, or early in the playoffs. So, they’re certainly okay with no one believing in them.
For the Kings, if they have a seat at the table in the playoffs, they’ll be fine with that. When they won in 2014, they were a low seed and made the most of it and captured a Stanley Cup. There isn’t much talk of the Kings this season, but has there really been a clear-cut contender? I wouldn’t say so. The Penguins and Blackhawks, who are typically up there as favourites, got off to slow starts to the year, and we have an expansion team in 1st place in the Western Conference. It’s always wide open, but maybe more than ever, this thing is going to be tight come the spring. We can make one guarantee, though, the Vancouver Canucks are not going to make an impact. The Canucks enter with a record of 18-23-3 as their season was derailed with the injury to Bo Horvat. Horvat has finally come back, though, so we’ll see what he can bring back to the table. Get our free Kings vs. Canucks pick below.
L.A. Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick
Horvat’s return didn’t help against the Jets. The offence was shut down, and the Jets went on to win a 1-0 decision on Sunday. It could take a game or two for Horvat to shake off the rust. The Canucks probably should have taken a bigger loss, as Anders Nilsson faced 36 shots in net, and stood on his head to keep the Canucks in the game. Without Nilsson, the Canucks were looking at a 3-0 or 4-0 loss to the Jets. Goal scoring has been a major issue for Vancouver, and once Horvat went down, it took a steady dive. It should come back a bit as Horvat gets acclimated on the ice again, but he’s still feeling things out. The Canucks have averaged 2.57 goals per game, 27th in the NHL.
Despite a stellar performance from Nilsson against the Jets, the Canucks have been struggling on the backend of the ice. They’re 26th in the NHL with 3.19 goals allowed per game. The Canucks may need a perfect performance from their netminder again tonight. They are facing a Kings team who are 1st in the NHL, allowing 2.43 goals per game. I think after that win on Sunday, we should start to see the Kings breakout a bit. I would typically say this looks like a trap spot on the road in Vancouver, but after recently ending a six-game losing streak, the Kings probably won’t take the Canucks lightly tonight. I’d make a play on the Kings to take this one in Vancouver.
PICK: KINGS (-110)